The Best AWS Services In 2020
There has never been a better time to build a cloud native application and take advantage of the best AWS services. Be that as it may, there’s endless ways to use AWS services together, and it’s important to know which ones are most popular and used in current applications.
Companies making decisions on how to best utilize cloud infrastructure often miss the mark on how to take advantage of AWS. It’s more than renting servers in the cloud. If you’re not taking advantage of cloud native applications, you’re really missing the mark on the potential that cloud services can bring to your organization.
Now, entire applications are built using serverless technologies. Serverless computing means that the cloud infrastructure provider, in this case AWS, is responsible for all of the patching and allocation of resources. You simply treat your code as functions and the platform takes care of the rest. It’s an incredibly powerful paradigm and something we’re leaning heavily on at Broadway Lab.
AWS is the leading cloud provider and has leaned in heavily on serverless technologies. Most of their new platform offerings are serverless, and everything is architected to work together. This allows you to create powerful workflows between different cloud native services and create more compelling applications. This same technology has enabled us to build applications that scale to hundreds of thousands of users within a 24 hour period.
Why is serverless the best way to go?
- AWS is all in on serverless. Their new offerings are mostly serverless, and it’s easy to orchestrate multiple services to create powerful architecture.
- With IAM, it’s easy to manage access controls and intertwine different services in a secure manner.
- Serverless allows you to scale more rapidly than traditional infrastructure. You pay for what you need and can save money when your platform is not used as heavily. It’s the best way to manage variable workloads that may become highly active and cool off during certain times.
Usually, companies are aware of these tradeoffs, but they’re unsure how to take advantage. Companies know AWS is incredibly powerful, but they feel like they’re only using a fraction of what the platform offers. Often, companies are creating a greenfield application and want to use a fresh approach. That is the perfect time to take advantage of a serverless architecture. If your company is unsure how to proceed with AWS, it can be essential to talk to an expert team that can help you make the right decisions.
Ready to go serverless?
What architecture do we recommend to take advantage of the best AWS services?
We recommend an AWS stack that leverages server technologies and uses the tools that Amazon is investing in most right now. Amazon even uses many of these technologies to power their own platforms.
Cognito is very powerful user management software provided by AWs. It’s a great way to add sign in and sign up to your applications in an efficient manner. It’s also a powerful tool for creating custom authorizers, so you can securely communicate between different services. We highly recommend using Cognito, because it enables you to move forward securely and confidently with your infrastructure.
Lambda is the cornerstone piece of serverless technology. It’s Amazon’s function as a service. You call the function, and Amazon Web Services handles the scale. It’s a great, low maintenance way to run your applications.
API gateway allows you to mesh all of your tools together. It’s truly the glue of your AWS stack. Using API gateway, you can provide an interface to trigger lambda functions, or even make calls to your existing infrastructure. You can use API Gateway and cognito to create authorization on certain endpoints and properly secure your data.
DynamoDB is the fastest growing database technology. Dynamo is a highly scalable NoSQL database, and it requires little to no maintenance. Since it is a serverless technology, DynamoDB scales to meet the demand that your application places on it. DynamoDB is the preferred database in a modern AWS stack because of it’s scalability and simplicity.
Amazon uses DynamoDB themselves for all tier-1 services. These are services that generate revenue for Amazon. Because they are so confident in DynamoDB, we acknowledge it as a powerful tool for building all sorts of applications.
Identity and Access Management (IAM)
IAM stands for “Identity and Access Management,” and it’s one of the core principles you MUST understand when building out your AWS architecture.
Following these best practices will improve your security and decrease the chances that your business is at risk. Learn more about IAM.
CloudWatch allows you to monitor your infrastructure for issues that may arise. It’s very easy to customize CloudWatch and set up alerts when certain pieces of your infrastructure fail. You can also set up CloudWatch to trigger lambda functions when certain events occur. This enables you to trigger a powerful series of functions and makes code more manageable.
CodeDeploy allows you to properly configure code deployment to various environments automatically. With many pieces in an AWS stack, it’s important to be able to automatically deploy updates and keep your development team in sync. CodeDeploy is a critical piece of devops on AWS.
CloudFront is a service that speeds up the delivery of static content to users, and accomplishes this through a network of edge servers that cache static files. An edge server is an entry point in the network. By providing a larger network of edge servers, user’s requests have less distance to travel and can receive data faster. Latency is measured in the amount of time it takes to receive the first byte of a file.
S3 is one of the most commonly used AWS products, and an integral piece of our recommended stack. S3 stands for Simple Storage Service, and it is Amazon’s product for storing files. You simply pay for the amount of memory you use along with the data transfer. At its core, S3 is really a key value store. Once you understand this, you can use it in some creative way. Not only does S3 allow you to store and download data in buckets for simple reading and writing, it can also be used as a scalable key value store for simple data. Combined with IAM, S3 is a very simple, yet powerful service to add to your arsenal.
What does an AWS stack LOOK like?
When we work with a new client, we work to map out the specific architecture before we do any development, and we create an architecture diagram like you see below. It’s imperative to map out the cloud architecture beforehand, because there are so many moving pieces. Beginning with the end result in mind allows us to create the proper solution for your use case.
Ultimately, we can recommend this as a general stack of the best AWS services, but you need to speak with an expert to make sure you’re making the right decisions based on your business. Also, make sure you’re taking advantage of free credit opportunities from AWS. Amazon has very favorable programs for new companies, and all companies can take advantage in some fashion.
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